The Best Pickles EVER

Yes, these are the best pickles EVER!  Not because we made them, but because the recipe is the best one I have ever tried.  And of course the best pickles come from home-grown cucumbers.  For the first time in my garden, I was able to grow perfect cucumbers!  I planted them by the trellis thinking they would climb…and boy, did they ever!

The one problem that I have always had is powdery mildew. I can’t seem to keep it away. I found some organic spray that actually seemed to work fairly well, but if I missed a spraying, the leaves were covered again.

From the vines, I was able to get about 5 quarts of pickles before we went on vacation.

The recipe is as follows:

1qt jar
1 jalapeno
1″ wedge of onion
1 clove garlic
cucumbers (as many as will fit, cram them in there because they shrink)
1 teaspoon dill SEED
1 tablespoon canning salt

1/2c sugar
1/2c pickling vinegar
1c water
Mix until sugar dissolves. Microwave JUST until boiling (about 4 minutes). Pour over jar contents to the top and seal. Store in a cool dark place for 2 weeks.

***The original recipe from a friend said to put the brine in cold, then place in a hot water bath just until the pickle color changes (10-15 minutes).  I have not been successful doing it this way, as my pickles always get too soft.

The Weeds Take Over

The weeds have officially taken over.  Who knew that when you tilled weeds, it is like giving them a reason to multiply???  Yes, I did not know that if you chop them up into little pieces, they just make more baby weeds…that grow into monster weeds and take over.  Like this:

So I spent the entire day pulling weeds from the garden. I had to carefully remove the plants that had already been placed in the garden and they went in a bucket of water.

To prevent weeds from happening again (at least as much as possible), I put down weed block. DUH! I am not sure why I did not think of that sooner, but after 16 years, I am getting smarter about those kind of things.

The garden adventure continues

Since my new found love is Pinterest, I am THRILLED that there is a gardening section on there.  I have gotten so many good ideas for improving the black thumb I have.

And btw…if the weeds in your garden are any indication of how much you have sinned, then forgive me Lord because I sinned A LOT last year.

I decided not to grow louffa this year since it just takes over the back of the garage. If the world comes to an end and we have to survive on what we can grow…I KNOW I can grow louffa to eat! Instead we are going to try chayote (a green Mexican squash that is supposed to be easy to grow) and cucumbers in this area, along with onions like I did last year.

We finally invested in a “tiller” that attaches to the weed-eater motor.  Let me just say…this is NOT the easiest thing in the world to use since you have to hold it and till.  I took the tiller to the weeks and it worked pretty well.  I did have to stop and untangle the AWFUL Bermuda grass that would get wound up in the blades.  Every once in a while I would take a break from tilling to work on the garden project I found on Pinterest.  Basically it involved building an a-frame and attaching PVC pipes to it to grow stuff.

The a-frame kicked my butt since I did not want a 45 degree angle.  In the end, I did a 20 degree angle, but started in the middle so the cut was not as sharp. (I had to use a circle saw for the cut.)

I used a metal plate on one side and a 6″ x 6″ block on the other side to attach the two pieces together.

Next came the PVC pipe. I bought 10′ drainage pipes with holes in the bottom. I did not want root rot from the soil, so I thought this would allow the dirt to breath a little and drain. I cut those in 1/2 so they were roughly 5′ long.


I made a 2″ hole every 8″ for the plants, using a doorknob drill.

I permanently glued on 1 end, so that the dirt can be emptied and refilled. Painters tape covered the holes so that I could fill the pipes and I tapped the pipes every few scoops since I wanted as little settling as possible.

The girls helped get our starters into the new pipes.

This is the finished product. We have the lettuce and other small plants off the ground and room for viney stuff underneath (yellow squash). I planted radishes in the front and will also plant a row of carrots as well.

Wade’s plan is to build an irrigation system for the garden! That would help so much!!!